200 more jobs on the way as Irish join MK gold rush

Councillor David Hopkins
Councillor David Hopkins

Yet another company has joined the Milton Keynes gold rush – eventually bringing 200 jobs with it.

Following hot on the heels of announcements from Honda and John Lewis, Irish outsourcing giants SouthWestern has announced plans to open its second UK centre in the city.

The company provides back office and logistics support to household names such as the Post Office, Vodafone, and Aer Lingus, and is basing its second operation outside of London at Northfield business park.

Around 24 jobs will be created initially, but this figure is expected to rise to around 200 in time.

SouthWestern will be linking up with Unisys at the Unisys Limited – Customer Service Centre.

It marks another big coup for Invest Milton Keynes (IMK), part of the council’s economic development unit, which helped find the most suitable location and property. IMK is still working closely with the firm conducting familiarisation tours and providing local support.

Pam Gosal, head of corporate economic development & inward investment at Milton Keynes Council, said: “They were clearly impressed with, and interested in, Milton Keynes as a possible location.”

John Rice, SouthWestern UK commercial director, said: “We needed a location that was business friendly, a motivated and skilled workforce and good transport connections to London and Birmingham.

“We also needed a flexible office location that will allow us to expand as our UK business grows. Milton Keynes satisfied all these criteria together with providing planned housing growth, access to a realistically priced housing and good local amenities and infrastructure.

“We are looking forward to working with the council and other businesses in Milton Keynes to achieve further mutual success.”

Councillor David Hopkins, the cabinet member responsible for the local economy, said: “We are delighted that yet another company has seen fit to locate to Milton Keynes and enjoy all of the natural benefits of being based here.”